Ph.D. Innovation Program
Thayer School's Ph.D. Innovation Program addresses the nation's vital need for leaders with both technical and entrepreneurial expertise and is the nation’s first engineering Ph.D. Innovation Program.
The Ph.D. Innovation Program is a highly selective program within Thayer School. You will complete all the requirements of the regular Ph.D. program of study, and supplement your program with additional studies that will prepare you to build an enterprise based on technical innovation when an opportunity presents itself.
"The program provides the opportunity to take risks, possibly fail, and ultimately learn from the experience in a structured environment." —excerpt from 2012 ASEE Northeast Section Conference, Reviewed Paper (PDF)
Acceptance into the Ph.D. Innovation Program comes with up to 5 years of full financial support. The first 2 years you will be supported as a graduate research assistant by your dissertation research advisor. Following satisfactory performance, you will receive up to 3 years of unrestricted program funding to allow you to follow your ideas independent of your advisor’s funded research program and to build the skill necessary to build an enterprise — such as a start-up company, a new division of an established company, or a government or non-profit enterprise. See Requirements for the Ph.D. Innovation Program for more details.
Applications for the 2013-2014 academic year are due on or before January 1st and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entering students should follow instructions for application to graduate studies programs and check the box indicating Innovation interest in the online application. Then, they should send a single PDF file containing the application materials (specified below) to email@example.com. Current students should submit the PDF file only, as well as a letter or email of approval from their thesis advisor, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants to the program should submit the following documents as a single PDF file titled with the applicant's name, initials, and designation of the innovation program (e.g., DoeJQ-INNOV.pdf):
A statement (2-page max) describing
- reasons for interest in innovation
- why innovation is relevant to your long term career goals
- an example demonstrating creativity in arriving at a solution
- A statement (2-page max) describing an example of a broad technology development problem that interests you. This should be written in the general form of a proposal for funding. Note: students should identify the name(s) of 1 or 2 potential Thayer School faculty advisors for their proposed work. Prior contact with those faculty members by email is recommended.
- A C.V. (3-page max).
- Currently enrolled Thayer Ph.D. students also need to submit a letter or email of approval from their thesis advisor.
Admission to this program will be determined by a committee consisting of the Dean of Thayer School or the Faculty Coordinator of the Program (Professor Eric Fossum), and members of the faculty, drawn from those serving on the program Advisory Board. Finalists will be interviewed, either in person or by videoconference, by the selection committee.
- January 1: Application and materials due
- Late January to early February: Interviews (by telephone or on-campus)
- Mid February: Decisions/notifications
- April 15: Candidate acceptance deadline
Email questions about the admission process to email@example.com.
Program questions? Contact Holly Wilkinson, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free from U.S. or Canada: 1-888-THAYER6 (1-888-842-9376); all others call 1-603-646-3483.
Learn more from Professor Eric Fossum, Faculty Coordinator for the Ph.D. Innovation Program, and students in the program:
Meet a Student
Ph.D. Innovation Program candidate Steve Reinitz talks about his work developing new materials to improve joint replacements in the orthopedic biomaterials laboratory: